Alto Peak: Never Underestimate a Mountain


Greetings to you adventurer!

If you are currently reading this (that I am certain of, obviously), then I guess you are ready to spare at least three minutes of your time. Yes, I won’t take too much. I don’t have right to. Come to think of it, I am not as astounding as my other brothers who have been enlisted amongst the top ten highest peaks of the country. In fact, I didn’t even make it to the top 20. This is the reason why most outdoorsmen never include me on their “Mountains to Climb” bucket list.

Dodging the trees that were heavily damaged after Yolanda
Taking the usual break during direct assaults HAHA 
T-boy resting after reaching the summit

Yes, I am comparably incompetent in terms of height, which resulted to you underestimating my trails… my forest… my wildlife. But let me remind you that overconfidence is the most dangerous form of carelessness. You might have conquered the highest peak of the country, survived the coldness of the Pulag, and succeeded on trail running brothers Halcon and Guiting-guiting, but I assure you that             there is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent. The mountains take no master. And no matter how many summits you have triumphed over, I will never bow down on you. I tower over the islands of Leyte, Samar, Biliran, and all the rest of Region VIII for that reason. You will remain looking high up on me, and never the other way around.

Rope course on the “Monkey Trail”
“Kapit-ka-lang-besh” pose of Lovely and Javy
Humble Abode… Lake Janagdan


I may have stood only 1,332 meters above sea level, but I have prepared a “Monkey Trail” to test your strength, perseverance, and agility. Not only that, you will also get a taste of the wrath of the strongest landfalling cyclone – Haiyan – which has left numbers of fallen trees and debris on my trails. Moreover, traversing Mt. Janagdan’s 1,120 MASL can add spice to your journey.

Junction to Alto Peak (back), Sulpatara Peak (left), Lake Janagdan (right) and Tres Aguas (front)
Blendin’ in
Debby and Frexel traversing the eroded part of the trail to campsite caused by frequent landslide in the area

You see, I don’t have much. I am not grand. I am not that picturesque. You can go ahead and underestimate me. You won’t be the first. You won’t be the last. But you will be wrong.

And if you won’t climb my summits just because it’s not worth your time and money, it’s not my loss. Never will be.


Mt. Alto


But of course, if you’d like to take on the challenge, feel free to contact Caleguid (Cabintan Local Eco Guide) on Facebook. Or contact directly the head of the guides there – Kuya Ramil at 0921 724 3042.


  1. You can directly contact Caleguid not only for guidance but as well as for transportation.
  2. Make the most of your hike, take the trail to Mt. Janagdan, downhill to Lake Janagdan then directly ascend to the junction to Sulpatara and Alto Campsite. From the junction, you can take the one hour hike to the campsite then another ascend to the peak.
  3. Ascending to Alto Peak can take a strenuous rappelling through nylon ropes.
  4. Alto Campsite has limited space capacity and most areas are rocky.
  5. There is a water source near the campsite, but please do maintain the cleanliness of the area and keep out chemicals that may cause toxic to the water.
  6. Aside from Lake Janagdan, you can as well visit Lake Danao, Mag-aso Falls, Tres Aguas, Sulpatara Peak for your side trips. Just make sure you have extra days for these.
  7. Leave no trace.
Wild berries. Edible.


Found this snake at the peak. We thought it was dead but when Lovely tried holding it, it stuck out its tongue. Truly deceiving.
Lipstick flowers.


Special thanks to Nhags of and Lovely for organizing the activity and to Kuya Ramil for accommodating and baring with our festive mood all through the two nights of camping and sleepout. And of course, to all the “Strangers on trails who later became friends at the summit”, thanks for everything guys. You rock!




Mandatory selfie upon going back to Ormoc
Sleepout goys.
Boodle feast sponsored by Kuya Ramil’s family
Chillin’ at Lorenzo Cafe near Ormoc Port while waiting for our boat ride back home.

Have you been to Alto? How was the experience? See more of my adventures on Facebook and Instagaram. See you on trails!